Recovery is possible

Depression and Addiction

What is Depression?

It is common for most people to experience feelings of sadness or depression from time to time. This is not the same as a depressive disorder.  depressive disorders can make it difficult or impossible to function from day to day. A person may even feel as though their life has no meaning or isn’t worth living. Depression is a debilitating, isolating mood disorder that can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life. It can make a person feel sad, lonely, disinterested, and hopeless.

Canadian Health Recovery Centre (CHRC) recognizes that depression isn’t the same for everyone. Depression is a serious disorder that requires intervention as it is treatable. At CHRC we strive to treat patients without the use of mind-altering medications, such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, some clients may need these medications in addition to other treatments.

Depression is defined as “a complex mood disorder caused by various factors, including genetic predisposition, personality stress, and brain chemistry”. Depression for men can present through; irritability, anger, or appearing discouraged. This can make it harder to identify depression within the male population. CHRC’s skilled team is a-tuned to the male population and is able to help men identify these feelings within themselves and therefore support them in coping with this co-occurring mental health disorder and substance use disorder.

Other symptoms and behaviours related to depression include:

  • change in eating patterns or weight gain
  • trouble falling or staying asleep or, getting little no sleep or sleeping too much.
  • loss of interest in hobbies, intimacy with loved ones, or lacking motivation
  • a loss of touch with reality, hearing voices (hallucinations), or having strange ideas (delusions).
  • trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • crying easily, or feeling like crying but being not able to
  • thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)

Although someone may not state these feelings, they can be present:

  • feelings of hopelessness and apathy
  • feeling useless, excessively guilty, or pessimistic
    feelings of low self-esteem
  • agitation or feeling slowed down
  • irritability
  • fatigue

Understanding Depression

More than 3 million Canadians will experience major depression at some point in their lives. People struggling with depression sometimes turn to substance use soothe their emotional pain, however, this does not work for long. 

The more a person consumes substances, the more of that substance, a person needs to achieve the same effect—this can lead to addiction and physical dependence. Also, a concern is the impact that these substances can have on their brain chemistry.  It can cause imbalances that can be corrected with proper intervention.  CHRC offers clients a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy), nutrition, and other treatments.

Depression doesn’t affect everyone in the same way or during the same life stage. There are many different causes. genetics, brain chemistry, and even diet and certain medications can be contributing factors to a person developing depression. Some forms of depression a person can experience are:

Major Depressive Disorder

When people use the term clinical depression, they are usually referring to major depressive disorder (MDD). People with MDD experience most of the following symptoms for longer than a two-week period: 

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Thoughts of death and suicide
  • Changes in weight
  • Sleep changes

Alcohol can have an impact on one’s physical wellbeing, whether it belong, or short-term use, during use, or post use. Drinking can impact sleep, the gastrointestinal tract, blood clotting, and bone health. Under the influence of alcohol, people may present as unstable on their feet, slurring their words, or experience blurred vision.  It can lead to a lack of inhibitions related to behaviour, impacting decision making. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of abnormally elevated mood (known as mania) and major depression (most people):

  • Mania symptoms can include feelings of euphoria, increased energy, hallucinations or delusions, less need for sleep, and increased sexual desire. Mania episodes can range from mild to severe, sometimes impairing a person’s life and requiring hospitalization.
  • Depression symptoms can include loss of interest, insomnia or sleep changes, severe fatigue, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

    There are two types of Bipolar described in the DSM-V.

    • Bipolar 1 disorder occurs when you have at least one manic episode. You may or may not also have a major depressive episode before or after a manic episode. In addition, you may experience a hypomanic episode, which is less severe than mania.
    • Bipolar 2 disorder is when you have a major depressive episode that lasts at least two weeks, and a hypomanic episode that lasts at least four days

Atypical Depression

People with atypical depression don’t experience the “typical” presentation of a depressive disorder. Instead, they may present with; sleeping excessively, extreme sensitivity to rejection, strongly reactive moods, and fatigue or weakness. Unlike individuals with major depression, people with atypical depression often feel better in the face of a positive event.

Depression is a debilitating, isolating mood disorder that can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life.

It can make a person feel sad, lonely, disinterested, and hopeless. It is common for most people to experience feelings of sadness or depression from time to time. This is not the same as a depressive disorder.  Depressive disorders can make it difficult or impossible to function from day to day. A person may even feel as though their life has no meaning or isn’t worth living. Depression is a debilitating, isolating mood disorder that can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life. It can make a person feel sad, lonely, disinterested, and hopeless.

CHRC recognizes that depression isn’t the same for everyone. Depression is a serious disorder that requires intervention and it is treatable. At CHRC we strive to treat patients without the use of mind-altering medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, some clients may need these medications in addition to other treatments and we support them in taking their medications as needed.

The steps toward change

Depression Treatment at CHRC

Canadian Health Recovery Centre (CHRC) challenges traditional treatment models found in most addiction treatment centres in Ontario. CHRC focuses on the underlying issues and root causes that can drive addiction. We treat the whole person through a comprehensive program that includes orthomolecular nutritional therapy, biochemical rebalancing, combined with group and individual counselling, using evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and other integrative therapies. We provide psycho-educational counselling to help our clients understand why they use substances, and how to develop out of those patterns and behaviours. We support clients through refusal training, and exposure therapy, to provide the tools and coping strategies needed when/if the situation presents itself where alcohol is being offered, consumed, or served.

At CHRC, we understand that the recovery process requires more than talk therapy. Our program combines counselling delivered by highly skilled psychotherapists, with nutritional therapies tailored to each client, to support both physiological and psychological healing. Our program is not offered by any other treatment centre in Ontario, or throughout Canada.

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Peterborough ON K9J 0G5